3D image of magnifying glass over search bar for Keyword Mapping
Marketing Intelligence

4 Steps to Hack Keyword Mapping for a More Effective SEO Strategy

by Gerald Murphy , Solution Buisness Manager, Similarweb 9 Min.
September 13, 2021 | Updated July 13, 2022

There are currently more than 1.8 billion websites on the World Wide Web today and more than 500,000 new websites launch each day.

With so many websites and digital channels being created and used on a regular basis, the challenge for you as a marketer is ensuring people find your website for the most relevant keyword terms.

Doing this effectively ties directly to your ability to generate leads and increase revenue. According to Google, almost half of all purchases are done online and 59% of shoppers say they research products online before they buy to ensure they are “making the best choice possible.”

27% of total global purchases are completed online representing keyword mapping

Source: Think with Google

How can you make sure your audience finds you? In this article, we’re going to keyword mapping hacks and keyword research tools to ensure your SEO efforts drive traffic from the right audience. 

What is keyword mapping and why is it important?

Keyword mapping is the process of pairing your target keywords to specific website pages. These could be landing pages, product pages, or even blog articles. 

By mapping keywords on your web pages, you can actively track the efforts of your search engine optimization (SEO) activities, build your site’s hierarchy, and ensure that you drive targeted traffic to your domain. In other words, people who want to know more about what you do or the services you offer.

How to do SEO keyword mapping 

Now it’s time to walk through how effective keyword mapping is done. 

1. Find the right terms (and related terms)

A strong website SEO keyword mapping strategy prioritizes the most valuable keywords: long-tail terms, which are three or four phrases long. They explain what the web page is about and tend to have low competition. 

While the search volume isn’t necessarily as high as other keywords, they are more targeted for what your audience is looking for, their search intent. You’ll want to use these terms for your essential pages.

For example, if you sell enterprise resource planning software and want to map keywords to a product page, you might consider the term: “[your company name] enterprise resource planning.” 

Similarweb Keyword Generator for enterprise resource planning representing keyword mapping

Here’s another example: You provide content marketing strategy and support and want a service page to outline your offering. For this page, you might consider using “content marketing strategy” or “digital content creation.” Both terms have significant search volume: 8,500 and 2,600 average monthly visits worldwide, respectively.

Similarweb Keyword Generator for content marketing strategy representing keyword mapping 

Every page on your website should target a unique keyword or (where applicable) variants of your main terms, including long-tail keywords. For example, if your main term is “shirts for men,” you should map out other keywords to target that are connected. How do you know the best words to choose? 

Searching a keyword in Keyword Generator, on Similarweb, you see related keywords, their search volume, search trends, and the website receiving the most traffic from the term, among other information.

Similarweb Keyword Generator for mens shirts representing keyword mapping

From here you can map out other keywords you want to target. In this case, you might consider:

  • shirts for men” (63K average monthly searches)
  • mens shirts (10.3K)
  • men shirt (14.9K)
  • men’s shirts (7.0K)

Similarweb Keyword Generator for mens shirts specific keyword breakdown representing keyword mapping

You could even be more specific depending on what type of shirts you’re selling, such as: 

  • oxford shirt (32.6K)
  • casual shirts for men (12.7K)
  • work shirts (10.2K)
  • mens tshirts (10.3K)
  • designer shirts (6.7K)
  • cotton shirts (4.9K)

The great thing about keyword mapping is that not only does it lay a foundation for your SEO work, it also helps search engines (and new site visitors) understand the intent and purpose of each page. 

Sticking with the content marketing example once again, you could optimize your top-level page for “content marketing” or “content marketing strategy.” 

Its underlying pages would then focus on certain aspects of content marketing, for example:

You then optimize these pages for long-term keywords related to the original “content marketing” term. 

You want to build a hierarchy that cascades down, with your main website pages optimized for broader terms, and your product pages and landing pages optimized for longer, more precise terms. 

Also, as well as establishing your website’s structure, mapping keywords to pages will show that you have depth and breadth of expertise as you begin to focus on terms related to your main term and build content around them, which will give your site authority. This is a core part of a pillar page strategy. By the way, this article is exactly that.

So start with one query and build a larger set of keywords. When choosing keywords, you also want to think about search intent. 

2. Choose keywords with the right search intent

As mentioned above, you can break down broader terms, e.g. “content marketing” into sub-topics and explore them to help expand and attract various audiences to your website. The key here is, though, to make sure the words you pick are in line with your audiences’ intent.

For example, a search for the term “content marketing,” reveals this search engine results page (SERP):

Google search and SERP results for Content Marketing representing keyword mapping

As you can see, we’ve got several different results here:

  • The definition for content marketing 
  • A Wikipedia article covering content marketing in detail 
  • Guide to content marketing in 2021
  • And images that Google has identified as relevant to the topic 

But why is this important? Well, you want to tap into actual user search intent – what might someone typing in “content marketing” want to find? 

There’s a drastic difference between someone searching for “content marketing strategy” and “content marketing.” One is most likely looking for actionable tips or a guide, the other might just want to know the definition or isn’t sure of what they’re looking for. 

In addition to thinking about search intent, you should also think about what relevant keywords people might use to describe the product, service, or content you offer. For some people, content marketing is synonymous with inbound marketing. Likewise, people use search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) interchangeably.

With this considered, how else would prospects refer to your product, service, or content? An easy way to find out is to plug your chosen terms into a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Similarweb Digital Marketing Intelligence to see what’s trending. 

Here’s a screenshot from Google’s Keyword Planner based on the term “content marketing”:

Google’s Keyword Planner based on the term content marketing representing keyword mapping

You can see that there are several keyword terms that are considered “similar” or “related” to content marketing: 

  • Content creation
  • Content strategy
  • Digital content creation

These terms are similar but not 100% the same. Therefore, these offer you another opportunity to create targeted content around your service offering: content marketing. Sample topics include:

  • Content strategy
  • Best practice for content creation
  • Digital content creation and its significance

Each of these keywords provides you with more “fuel” to develop your content and SEO strategy and attract new audiences to your website.

You could even go a step further with your keyword strategy and add prefixes or suffixes to your main terms to tailor them to specific audiences. For example, content strategy for B2B companies or content marketing services for small businesses. 

Consider keyword difficulty, too. Terms with low competition are much easier to pursue – but may have lower search volume. Ideally, find terms with low competition but high organic search volume. 

3. Group keywords  

Try to group keywords that answer the same question. You will get variants of terms that you can use as secondary or tertiary keywords. 

Take the term “accounting automation software” for example. Variations of this include: 

  • “software for accounting automation” 
  • “automation software for accounting”
  • “automated software for accounting”

You get the idea.

Group your keywords that answer the same question. Then, go a step further by separating them based on search intent:

Someone searching accounting automation software is likely looking for a product or making a purchase, so they’re likely at the middle or bottom of the funnel. Comparatively, someone typing in “what is accounting automation software” is most likely at the start of their buyer’s journey (or top of the funnel) and therefore in need of more education before pulling the trigger. 

By grouping your keywords based on similarity and search intent, you can begin to map lead-generating keywords to your best website pages, leaving more “generic” terms for your explanation/FAQ pages, knowledge center, and homepage. You can also use this approach to create more targeted content based on the needs of your users. 

All of this is part of a pillar page content marketing strategy. It involves identifying one main, overarching term that you can break down into several subcategories. You can then expand those subcategories to become pieces of cluster content (topics that address specific elements in detail).

You create one pillar page and optimize it for your main, overarching term, and then several articles or blogs – optimized for related terms – link to (and from) that pillar page. This exercise in link building can help with page optimization, help drive more organic traffic to your web pages and support your overall SEO strategy.

Topic cluster graphic representing keyword mapping

Pro tip: Avoid using the same keyword (or keywords) for different pages as this can hamper your SEO efforts through keyword cannibalization.

4. Structure URLs and new content wisely

Once you have organized your keywords, you want to use each set to visualize the structure of your website and potential pages.

Take a look at the image below.  It clearly shows an efficient website hierarchy:

website hierarchy graphic representing keyword mapping

The idea is that you have your main pages (e.g. your overarching offerings) and then your sub-topic pages (services relating to each offering). 

So if you provide recruitment services, you might have something like this:

Recruitment services website hierarchy graphic

Your top-level page is “recruitment services,” with your sub topic pages exploring the main topic in more detail.

The URL would look something like:

www.yourwebsite.com/recruitment-services/recruitment-for-schools

You have your website name, the topic (recruitment services), and the sub-topic (recruitment for schools). Your main keyword is “recruitment services” and the sub-topic keyword is “recruitment for schools.” This URL hierarchy signals to Google and other search engines how your content is structured around topics. See how it comes together?

Of course, not all of the terms you find are relevant. Some are better for web pages and pillar page content, whereas others are good for blog posts or videos. 

An easy way to approach this is to think about your pages in themes related to what you do – this will help you to ascertain which terms would make great URLs. 

Keyword mapping tools to try

 Similarweb Digital Marketing Intelligence provides you with everything you need to manage your website’s keyword strategy and site hierarchy. 

Here’s what you can expect to get:

1. Keyword discovery

Identify traffic share per keyword, fresh keyword data, organic and paid traffic engagement, and benchmarks by industry. Our tool leverages actual user search queries – across Google, Amazon, and YouTube – and has over one billion keywords to help you build the most robust and adaptive keyword strategy.

Similarweb Keyword Generator home screen representing keyword mapping

2. Keyword gaps 

Reveal your competitors’ top-performing keywords and the freshest trending keywords from your industry. Generate keywords using real-time data, identify keyword gaps across 10 trillion weekly searches based on what’s sending traffic to your competitors, and check keyword seasonality to optimize your campaigns.

Similarweb Keyword Gap for hm.com vs asos.com and more representing keyword mapping

3. Keyword strategy  

Prioritize keywords based on search volume, click rates, paid vs. organic clicks, competition, and more – everything you need to focus on to ensure your SEO keyword mapping is a success. Other features include: keywords by country (i.e. what works well per region), keywords by industry, keyword seasonality, and landing page and ad campaign analysis to identify top-performing keywords of your competitors.

 

Similarweb Keyword Seasonality tool for the music industry representing keyword mapping

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Keyword mapping FAQs

What is keyword mapping?

Keyword mapping is the process of matching target keywords with specific website pages. 

What is the benefit of keyword mapping?

Keyword mapping is beneficial as you can track the efforts of your SEO activities, and ensure that you drive traffic to your website.

How do I create a map for keywords?

You can create a keyword map in a few steps:

  1. Find the right keywords, and related terms
  2. Select keywords that have the right search intent 
  3. Group related keywords and use them based on search intent
  4. Structure your content to include keywords throughout the website hierarchy
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